Linseed oil on pine floorboards?

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by giantdog, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. giantdog

    giantdog New Member

    I laid new 22mm pine floorboards in the lounge and hall about 10 years ago and it's looking pretty tired now.

    I intend to sand and re-treat but what with?

    I like the knackered look so don't want a finish that sits on the surface i.e. varnishes but would rather apply some kind of oil that soaks in. I have 2 Irish Wolfhounds and a Great Dane (hence my member name) so the floor takes plenty of hammer.

    Sooo, what about oil? Linseed or some other?

    Any ideas/experiences?
  2. BillDL

    BillDL New Member

    The only experience I have had with oiling floorboards was many, many years ago. I'm sure that there will be many more products available now which will be easier to work with than the rub-in wax I used with spirit. Others will no doubt post with hands-on experience of named products, but I would urge you to use caution if you go with linseed oil. I used to build elecric guitars, the wood of which is sometimes enhanced (for those who like a natural wood feel) by buffing it to a soft sheen after linseed oil has soaked in. Cricket bats used to be (maybe still are) preserved with the stuff, and my brother used to use linseed oil for his bats and also for his oil paintings.

    I have had personal experience of the dangers involved with leaving linseed oil dampened rags around, as is explained in these two linked pages:

    So, just be aware of this and dry the rags completely.
  3. giantdog

    giantdog New Member

    Thanks for that Bill, I've heard about rags bursting into flames very scary.

    I just want something that goes into the wood as opposed to sitting on it if that makes sense?
    I've played guitar for years and have a couple of hand built ones.
  4. joinerjohn1

    joinerjohn1 Screwfix Select

    I build guitars occasionally, but only use linseed oil when I'm cleaning the fretboard. Have used Tung oil for bodies before, but linseed oil does allow moisture through. ;);)
  5. BillDL

    BillDL New Member

    I know what you mean about the "sitting on top" treatment, giantdog. For all you can now get some extremely hardwearing solvent and water based paints and varnishes, for example the Dulux and Ronseal (same owners) "Diamond Hard" range, it's still just a coating which, if chipped by something dropped, will show through a different colour. Wax or oil coatings impregnate the wood and anything but very deep scratches just don't show to the same degree.

    Bear in mind that anything water-based will raise the grain of bare wood, whereas solvent or spirit-based treatments will not. A water-based stain will usually involve fine sanding after the first coat has soaked in, and sometimes even another fine sand after more coats. The same is true of water-based varnishes on bare wood, and if you choose a spirit-based stain you would then have to be sure that the top coat (whether varnish or wax/oil) was compatible and that residual solvent from the stain didn't "melt" the top coat.

    The EC laws have caused a lot of change with regard to volatile solvent content in paints and varnishes, and a lot of previously top notch products have been reduced to rubbish that is difficult to apply or yields a dreadful finish. That's the reason I can't really suggest any currently available products. Things have changed a lot even in the last 5 years.

    Personally I would be hanging off with any decisions until I had sanded the floor and discovered what the wood is like below whatever is currently forming the top coat. You may find that wedges of different grained wood and wood filler has been used in a lot of places, and that could affect the absorbency of varnish, stain, wax, or oil in these areas.
  6. wiggy

    wiggy Well-Known Member

    I have just used decking oil for my oak floor which I got from one of the sheds, I think its an own brand about £30 for 5l, although I have only done patches of the floor where I have damaged it.
    It was left over from a job, the patches I have done look no different from the rest of the floor.

    In the past I have used osmo for windows and doors and danish oil which is a third varnish, I think they are all much the same to be honest, the only thing I would never use is any sort of water based stain or protection.
  7. giantdog

    giantdog New Member

    cheers guys.

    I laid the floor about 10 years ago and it currently has a clearish ronseal varnish but is pretty worn. There's no filler or damage as I put a hatch under the sofa for access to pipes in the foor space and as I said it's just regular pine boards actually laid over a very battered 1950's wooden floor. I decided to lay new as the original floor had been hacked to bits over the years to lay central heating pipes etc.

    I'd like to darken the floor but this isn't critical but would like to give the flooring some new life.
    I'll try and add a pic of the floor.
  8. giantdog

    giantdog New Member

    you can see a bit of the floor :)
  9. Ray Retired

    Ray Retired Active Member

    Danish Oil would be my first choice, never used it on pine but it's made a many a grand job of finishing a variety of woodturning projects for me. Several light coats will add an element of durability to the floor too...

    Handsome Hounds BTW. :)
  10. Rulland

    Rulland Well-Known Member

    And assuming the wheel has a bike attached, nice bike.
  11. Ray Retired

    Ray Retired Active Member

    Mmm, black chrome, spoked wheels and a single vented disc makes it a Harley Sportster?

    Reminds me of childhood days when the parlour became a winter garage to a Bonnie T120... The Triumph leaked all the oil needed to keep the floorboards lubed and the rare pair of rottie guard dogs enjoyed the heat source... Ahh, the joys of distant memories! :)
  12. giantdog

    giantdog New Member

    Well spotted, it's the wife's 48 Sportster and was the first one on the road in the country I've got a Wide Glide but that's a bit big to keep in the lounge. Sorry for going off topic.
    I'm going to try some of the Danish Oil on a test piece of board.

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